Friday Night SmackDown took place inside the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Florida with virtual fans in attendance. This was the go home show for the Royal Rumble and featured a face to face confrontation with the Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens who will meet this Sunday. Plus, Bianca Belair takes on Bayley as she looks for revenge for last week’s attack.
The show opened with Daniel Bryan coming out to the ring. He welcomed everyone to the show and to Royal Rumble weekend. He is excited for this Sunday and he hopes to win the Royal Rumble match for the first time in his career. He said nobody knows better about main eventing WrestleMania better than him and he will do it one more time. He said he doesn’t know how many Mania moments he has left but he will love to accomplish his dream one more time. He said he is ready thanks to Chad Gable and Otis. He said he is ready for anything. He hypes up the match until AJ Styles interrupted with Omos. AJ said he will be the one to win and main event WrestleMania. Daniel said AJ is a Raw Superstar and asks what he is doing here. AJ said this is the house that he built and Omos said that it is a brand to brand invitation. AJ said he is the gatekeeper for Raw and everyone has to go through him on the show. He asks Daniel if he is the GM again and if he has one foot out the door. Daniel said he is not out the door and challenges him to a match for tonight. AJ said he would love to get one more warm up and pushes Daniel down. Daniel tells AJ he should come out to the match without Omos and he’ll still kick his ass either way.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Bayley backstage about the Obstacle Course last week and Bayley interrupted her saying she left her lying after all that. She said she is proud of Bianca on her Chronicle special but Bianca ran away from her problems her entire life. She claimed she won’t run away from her and she will be in the darkest hole in her life.
Bianca Belair Defeated Bayley
Kayla Braxton interviewed Bianca on the stage about her win. Bianca said she will never apologize for being her and she is overwhelmed with excitement. She said the only thing to top this moment is winning the Royal Rumble match on Sunday.
Dominick Mysterio attacked Corbin from behind before their match on the ramp. They go to commercial before the match.
King Corbin Defeated Dominick Mysterio
Rey Mysterio was going to check on Dominick until Corbin went after him. Rey sent him into the post and landed a senton from the apron. Rey checked on Dominick.
Big E was backstage with Sonya Deville and hands Sonya a dollar to ask her what his number in the Rumble match will be. The Miz and John Morrison interrupted asking where Adam Pearce is and Sonya tells them that Adam has one week off. Miz and Morrison said that is terrible. Miz said things could get interesting with Roman and Owens’ confrontation tonight as Miz held up the briefcase. Sonya wishes luck to them as she left. Big E said they don’t have a chance at winning the Rumble. Big E brawls with Miz and Morrison backstage as referees try to break them up.
Kalisto went up to hug Sasha backstage as they met. Reginald confronted her saying he comes in peace and gives her a wine bottle. he said it’s the perfect kind that will pair with her losing the title at the Rumble. She said there is something she likes about him like and asks what is the best wine she could fine Carmella that she could drink with a broken jaw. She hands Reginald that he can use a drink as she hands him back the bottle.
Shinsuke Nakamura was backstage and Sami Zayn came up to him with the camera crew. He said he doesn’t know what is going on with the Raw guys coming here. He doesn’t know what is going on with him and Cesaro but they have a history together. He said he helped him out and he needs Shinsuke to help him out with getting the Intercontinental title back. He says Shinsuke will be floating around here without him and all of Shinsuke’s success has been because of him. Shinsuke said he appreciates everything he has done for him but tells him to go to hell and walks away.
Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens were on screen for their confrontation. Michael Cole asked Kevin what will be different to allow him to beat Roman. Owens said nothing will be different and he might have family members there to help him but he will get back up again and again to be the last man standing. Paul Heyman said Kevin will not address Roman that way and will speak to him with respect. Roman said Kevin is making excuses and asks Kevin what kind of man was his father. Kevin said his father is a great man. Roman asked if he is a smart man and Kevin said yeah and he better be careful what he is going to say next. Roman said his father doesn’t teach him the limitations. Roman said Kevin is not supposed to be in this spot. Roman said everything revolves around him and Kevin is inferior to be Universal Champion. Roman said it’s not Kevin’s fault but his family’s fault. he calls Kevin’s father a failure and his grandfather. Kevin said those men were important to him and tells him to watch what he says. Roman says Kevin doesn’t understand but maybe one day you will. He tells Kevin that he will be disgrace to his family for not acknowledging Roman as the Tribal Chief. Kevin said his father and grandfather would be cool with him acknowledging Roman as a jackass. Kevin said Roman is hiding the fact that he is an insecure bully and he is the man that his entire family will be proud of. He said he will be the last man standing and his family will look at him with the Universal title.
THIS is PASSION. THIS is a FIGHTER. THIS is a FAMILY MAN.#UniversalChampion @WWERomanReigns won't be able to turn off @FightOwensFight this Sunday at #RoyalRumble! #SmackDown @HeymanHustle pic.twitter.com/N7AzTXNuoA— WWE (@WWE) January 30, 2021
Before their match, AJ tells Omos on the stage that he is good with facing Daniel alone. Omos leaves as AJ heads to the ring for the match.
Daniel Bryan Defeated AJ Styles By DQ
Big E, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles all brawl in the ring. Shinsuke Nakamura enters the ring and went after Sami. Nakamura took out Styles and Sami but didn’t go after Cesaro. Nakamura, Bryan and Big E knocked Cesaro, Styles and Sami out of the ring as they went to break.
As they came back from break, it became a 6 man tag match between Cesaro, Sami Zayn and AJ Styles facing Big E, Daniel Bryan and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Daniel Bryan Vs. Cesaro, AJ Styles and Sami Zayn Ended In A No Contest
The Miz and John Morrison came out and attacked Shinsuke and Big E. They beat down Big E in the ring until Otis came down for the save. Otis took Miz and Morrison on in the ring, suplexing them all around. Otis nailed them with the Caterpillar as they went to commercial break.
As they came back, it became a 5 on 4 handicap tag match with Otis teaming with Bryan, Big E and Shinsuke taking on Miz, Morrison, AJ Styles, Cesaro and Sami Zayn.
Sheamus came in during the match to make it a 10 man tag as he teamed with Daniel Bryan’s team.
From one-on-one ➡️ #6ManTag ➡️ #9ManTag?!?!?— WWE (@WWE) January 30, 2021
Welcome to the fray, @WWESheamus!
#SmackDown @SamiZayn @ShinsukeN @AJStylesOrg @WWEDanielBryan @mikethemiz @otiswwe @TheRealMorrison @WWECesaro @WWEBigE pic.twitter.com/3fyyG24Ukj
Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E and Otis Defeated Miz, Morrison, AJ Styles, Cesaro and Sami Zayn
Miz and Morrison attacked Sheamus after the match. They beat him down until Braun Strowman made his return and attacked everyone in the ring. He powerslammed Cesaro in the ring. The show went off the air.
Overall Review: This show was pretty much a half and half show. The first half was great but then once the segment with Roman and Owens ended, it was all downhill. Kicking it off with Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles was pretty fresh since every week they started out with Roman Reigns so that was cool. I’m so happy for Bianca getting the big win here against Bayley which was bound to happen. This will give Bianca big momentum into the Rumble for her to possibly win it. The Corbin/Mysterio match was okay as well as the whole Reginald and Sasha bit was okay but I wish they did something more to build up for Sasha’s match with Carmella at the Rumble. Just having Sasha there and not having Carmella having some final words or a final confrontation with Sasha is kind of whack. The segment with Roman and Kevin was without a doubt the highlight of the night. Kevin showed such intensity as he always does in his promos and Roman acted so well as he always does in his Tribal Chief persona which really excites me for this match at the Rumble. Then, it all came to a screeching halt after the Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles match. I hate when they have a match then people interfere which cause a 6 man tag match right away. Not only that, they did another tag match and add Sheamus to it to make a 10 man tag. It was like Raw this past week all over again with the Charlotte/Shayna Baszler match. It was just so lazy and I was really disappointed that they just had to book everyone that way to promote the Rumble match. Braun Strowman coming back is cool especially with the way he did but it didn’t really do much to save that whole segment.